Monday, June 29, 2009

What's Outside My Windows- The Christmas Edition

Hey, even Santa needs some R&R sometimes....
Pay no attention to the scratchy, gray blobs- I had to protect the innocent (that had no idea I was snapping their picture... I'm sneaky that way.)

It's not even Christmas yet and Santa appears to be exhausted. However, it may even be more serious than just sheer exhaustion....It appears that he is hooked up to life support. Don't tell any little kids that you know about this turn of could be catastrophic.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Compost Pile- Revisited- again......

EEEEWWWW- yeah, I know what you are thinking. But, hey, this is farm life. Looks like pig slop doesn't it? This is one week's worth of kitchen scraps from my house. Looks like we ate watermelon, corn, bananas, potatoes, and I think, (if I remember correctly) there are some strawberry tops in there too.


I hope the raccoons aren't hungry or else they'll eat my fresh scraps that are buried in that pile....

Really, really, close up of the compost pile.

It's working a little bit but I can still make out leaves. The roly poly in the middle of the photo isn't very encouraging. That pile should be heating up and working- it should be too hot for "critters" to inhabit it. Oh well, I'm going to have to be more diligent in mixing that pile from now on. I wonder if this pile will be completely composted for next spring? We'll just have to see....

Mental note: I need more green stuff mixed in.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

What's Outside Scott's Car (uhm...motorcycle) Windows- Don't look If You are Squeamish

Warning: This photo is disturbing. It may not be to you but it is to me. I'm paranoid when it comes to the subject in this photo. I apologize ahead of time if the subject in the photo offends you too.

I still can't believe I'm putting this on my blog but, Scott did send this photo of what he saw outside his windows. Technically, it wasn't outside his windows. It was just plain "outside". You see, Scott was on a motorcycle. Did you just get shivers up your spine like I did? Could you imagine being "unprotected" on a motorcycle and running across (no, not physically running across) this monster? This critter was crossing the road near our garden.

Did you catch that? I said, near our garden. ((((shiver))))

Mr. evil looks like a black snake but we think that with his ribbon appearance, he is a black racer. Who knows, it could be a new species for all I know. I've always felt that a good snake is a dead snake. You can quote me on that too.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Go to Friday Fill Ins to "fill in" your own!

1. She had a great urgency to run through the field of vetch and jump and "boing- boing" just as the dogs had done.

2. My honey is by my side, always.

3. I know this: Things may go wrong, things may go right, but time marches on and before long, you will forget what happened in the first place (or at least I always do).

4. We do not have a second car up and running still.

5. These words apply to me: diligent and persevering.

6. Yesterday the sun was shining.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to teasing my sister about her "keyborking" ("J", I hope you are reading this-hee hee), tomorrow my plans include (if a miracle happens) going to the lake and Sunday, doing absolutely nothing in particular- (I'm tired)!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Art Deco "Tree Art"

You know the other day, I re-visited a little of my childhood and snapped a couple pictures of mushrooms. Well, when I was snapping those photos, something caught my eye.

I knew right away what this was all about. It was tree art. And I knew exactly who did this without having to ask. My niece decided to decorate a couple trees in the yard. I think it's neat. At the time, I figured that this was the only one I'd find decorated. I was wrong.

I spotted this one right away mingled amongst the saw briars.

Here is a close up- neat huh? How's that for handmade?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The South Carolina Etsy Street Team Needs Your Vote

The South Carolina Etsy Street Team needs your help!

Click on photo for larger image

Please visit the South Carolina Etsy Street Team's blog and cast your vote for your favorite "Americana" themed item from the pictures above.

Do it now, hurry, hurry, hurry!!

(Seriously, you have until June 30th to cast your vote). Just don't procrastinate too long- OK?

A Wordless Wednesday - Meow, meow-woof, Woof

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

'Shrooms from Nannie's house

When I was a little girl, I spent a lot of time at my grandmother's house. You know, Minnie Mae's house. The other day, I was fortunate enough to take a quick visit back to my Nannie's house. There were all kinds of mushrooms growing all over the place. I had my camera with me so I decided to snap photos of a few of them. I thought that you might like to see some of the poisonous plants that I had to contend with while growing up. Don't worry, I was fully educated on the "poisonous mushroom". As a matter of fact, I was into my 20's before I would even eat the store bought mushrooms- I had such a complex that all mushrooms were poisonous!

With all of these mushrooms all around, can't you just imagine, that in those moist conditions, I probably had a lot of mosquito bites in my lifetime. Go ahead, imagine it. It was all true.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Remember Patriotic George? He was inspired by The South Carolina Etsy Street Team and The She Team's (Schooling at Home Etsians) monthly challenges. This little guy was nominated by some nice person for one of Etsy's Voter poll categories: Americana Decor.

You can see George here along with a lot of other really nice items in the same poll: If you are so inclined, be sure and vote for your favorite while you are there!

Stag horn Beetle Finds New Home- Away from Practical Jokers

What possibly could I be up to with posting a picture of a fake stag horn beetle? When I snapped this photo, I knew there just had to be something else to it. I figured that there was a story behind it. I was right. There was a story behind it. My niece was happy to hear that I had found this "missing" beetle. She even said, "So that's where it went- in the yard! "

This beetle is the last episode from a string of years that included practical jokes and other gags between my brother, sister, niece, and her fiance.

From what I'm told, it all started with a life-sized, plastic, sewer rat that my brother conveniently placed behind the toilet in the bathroom. That plastic rat moved around the house and was found around corners, in refrigerators- you get the picture. The game was on at that point. I'm told that they grew "old" of the rat and at every Christmas, someone got some kind of plastic "critter" in their stocking. That "critter" would be the new "toy" that everyone would play practical jokes on each other with. There were plastic bugs, rubber snakes, and even a fake "monster" that liked to hand out in the bathroom.

I guess those things kind of kept people on their toes for sure! My niece says that even right now, at this very instant, there is a plastic monster in the shower that is hanging precariously from the shower head.

"Huh", and I thought my siblings were boring. Here they were, all this time, having loads of fun hiding critters all over the house and trying to scare each other to death.....

Back to the stag horn beetle. Someone put him out in the yard evidently (obviously). Why, we will never know. But hey, I don't even live there and I found Mr. Beetle. At least he's found.

After hearing about Mr. Beetle, I am left to wonder what's the deal with Miss Ladybug?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all of the "Daddies" out there. If your Daddy is still around, give him a hug, give him a call, just give him some love......You will be glad you did in the long run.

My Daddy and "me"

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sunflowers and Miss Slug

If you have read my blog in the past, you know that we have been gardening quite a bit this spring. Our garden isn't at our house but is at my brother's farm. Sometimes, I have to bring the "gardening" home with me and start some seeds to sprouting at home.

Do you know what this is? Could it be a sunflower- hence the actual "sunflower" seed lying next to the curled up, dead looking, leaf "thingy". Yes, you are right. That there is a sunflower seed. That there dead leaf looking thing is exactly that- a dead, leaf, looking thingy.

Remember Miss slug? You know that cute little critter that the little girl at my house likes to hold in her hands. Can you guess where she spends her extra time when she is not under the flower pot with the roly pollies? She inspects my seed flats. She is quite good at her job too. Unfortunately, I have recently came to understand that slugs love to eat sunflower plants. Yep- they do.

That photo above was taken the day after I first found evidence that Miss slug had been exercising her saliva glands.

This is what Miss slug first started out doing. She was taste testing my sunflower plant. Lovely holes huh? Why are there egg shells all around that plant you say? Well, I had this brilliant idea that maybe egg shells would, kind of, stop Miss slug in her tracks. It was a hopeless cause. Miss slug slid effortlessly across the egg shells and left a gleaming slime trail to prove it. Lesson learned.

Lessons learned:
  1. Slugs eat sunflowers
  2. Egg shells do nothing to deter slugs from eating sunflowers
  3. Slugs get bored living under flower pots and will venture into your seed flats
What did I do with Miss slug? I didn't have the heart to do anything with her since a little girl at my house loves her as a pet. I did take her further away from the house- but her brothers and sisters soon moved in under that flower pot.

You want to know what happened after Miss slug ate my only three sunflower seedlings?

She moved on to the broccoli plant.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Friday Fill Ins

Go to Friday Fill Ins to fill in your own!

1. All children alarm their parents, if only because you are forever expecting the absolute worst to happen.

2. Show me a good loser and I will show you a a rare person, indeed.

3. The sickness I would feel from consuming MSG, is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs at one time. (it would be yummy at first but wouldn't be pleasant in the afterward)

4. Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy being buried in red tape and cleaning up the messes that the people, "who think they know what they are doing", actually did.

5. I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine fire fly hunting and stock market trading.

6. It is impossible to think of any good meal, no matter how plain or elegant, without yeast rolls with honey butter or chocolate in it.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to 10:00pm when it finally gets quiet around my house, tomorrow my plans include keeping an eye on several neighborhood teenagers that will probably be congregating at my house and Sunday, I want to be able to breathe with relief that the weekend went fairly well!

Boy, was it just me or was this one hard to finish this week?

Roly Pollies and Miss Slug

Call them what you want: pill bugs, roly pollies, sowbugs, woodlice, or whatever. Around my house, they are called roly pollies. Sometimes you might even hear me call them pill bugs.

Pill bugs are grey little critters that live under my flower pots. Sometimes you can see them walking around in the grass. These little creatures are the only land living crustaceans. They are cousins to lobsters, crabs, and shrimp.

Why am I giving you a quick education on pill bugs? Why, you know me. I'm going somewhere with this information....

Roly Poly hunting is serious business....
(It requires great patience and magnificent powers of observation)

You see, there is this little girl at my house that is obsessed with catching pill bugs. After all, they don't bite and they roll up into awesome, little balls. (I think they resemble little armadillos- but that's beside the point.)

After a quick, few minutes of pill bug wrastlin', this is the result- two- count them- two pill bugs. They are there in the picture- you just have to look really hard. (The roly poly catcher thought they they might like to eat grass and clover)

This little guy is playing dead. Really, he is. He is just kind of lying there with his legs up in the air and half rolled up. (Don't worry- he soon rolled over and took off after this photo was snapped...)

The roly poly fasination went on all afternoon with the little girl at my house. She even became quite concerned for the little guys when a thunderstorm rolled on through.

However, the fascination with roly pollies was quickly overshadowed with a new obsession: slug holding.

This is Miss slug. She was found under the same flower pot as the two roly pollies. I'm so proud of my little one to have such a fascination for the creatures in the world around her. But.....later that day I had a run in with Miss slug- that, let's just say, wasn't pleasant for me. But, that's a story for another day.....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A "Not So Wordless" Wednesday

The "GTC" Gang

This picture deserved an explanation- sorry it's sort of lengthy.... I did say it was a "Not So Wordless Wednesday" so I'm covered.

These are just a few of my father in law's creations. I told him he needs to think about selling these guys on Etsy. I'm not sure he agrees. Hey, he even got the picture taking thing down already- and that's the hardest part (or at least I think so). I even thought up a cute name for these little guys (and gals). "The Georgia Twig Chics"- huh, huh, don't you think that's cute?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Not So Secret Father's Day Gifts for the Dad at My House

The Dr. and Rose
By Mark Satchwill

My honey has this favorite television show. It's been his favorite for a long, long time. Lots of people in America have no idea what the show even is. But, on the other hand, thanks to BBC America and PBS (in the 1980's), lots of people do know what the show is. That show is called Dr. Who. No, it's not a hospital drama, tear jerker, type of show; Dr. Who is a science fiction program. Dr. Who is a time lord. He never dies- well, sort of never. Dr. Who "regenerates" into the form of another Dr.

By the way, he isn't a medical doctor. People just kind of think he is. He travels through space and time saving planets, species, and the such from utter destruction. His vehicle of travel is a Tardis. A Tardis is what the British will easily recognize as a telephone booth of sorts that is painted blue and has the words, "police box" across the top. The Tardis is gigantically huge on the inside and normally sized on the outside. Almost all Dr. Who episodes are family friendly- except the newer ones do have a "naughty" word or two that show up from time to time. Some episodes do get a little "scary" with the occasional feisty alien or two but overall- everyone in my family can watch.

Oh, know, this post has turned out being a write up on Dr. Who the program and not the reason as to why I'm posting this in the first place! Back to my original intention!

There are lots of neat items on Etsy that are Dr. Who related. From time to time, when I actually have time, I type in Dr. Who in the search bar and see what comes up. Some time back, I found the reproduction print you see above. I had to buy it for my husband. He collects Dr. Who memorabilia, which by the way, is hard to come by in America. Mark Satchwill shipped me the print very fast "over the pond" and it got to me in time for my husband's birthday.

Dr. Who- David Tennant
By Mark Satchwill

This print is the one that's on it's way over the Atlantic ocean at this very moment for part of my husband's Father's Day gift. Mark has a couple of other Dr. Who's that he has completed and is working on my husband's favorite Dr. right now. I couldn't keep the secret from my honey about the print pictured above and I just had to show him what was on the way to him. He wants all of the Dr. prints by Mark Satchwill now!

A special order "Tardis" that I ordered from Roger's Stuff - also on Etsy.

This Tardis was something that I asked Roger from Roger's Stuff, if he could make. He had it done within a very short while- even before I logged off of the computer that day! Today, it came in the mail- super fast shipping people!

My honey put his Tardis in the back window of the truck before we even got home from the post office. I'm so glad he liked it.

Well, seller's be on the lookout for me, I've finally found a way to surprise my honey. He has no idea what I buy on Etsy so I'll be on the lookout for Dr. Who for Christmas!

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Pretend Birthday Party- Complete With A Cockroach

My birthday party spread

Last week, my little girl and her cousin decided to throw me a birthday party. It's not my birthday (or anywhere near it) but that's ok. It was the thought that counted. I even got lots and lots of presents that were lovingly wrapped in scrap paper (and my last roll of tape).......

Take a look closely at the picture. There are all kinds of yummy, plastic goodies on my coffee table. I zoomed in on the pretend bottle of chocolate syrup immediately- how about you?

On the end of the table, you will see my gifts that I received. I got a pink hair accessory, my missing spoon, an old worn out dish cloth, my missing scissors (that I had been previously searching frantically for just moments before this party started), and the beloved, plastic cockroach.

Little girls are so sweet- even when they give you a plastic cockroach for your pretend birthday. Little girls can't keep secrets so I was warned ahead of time that I was about to open a gift that was nothing but a plastic cockroach. That was good to know ahead of time- don't you think?

Thank you, girlies!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mud Holes and Brothers on Off Road Vehicles

Here are two brothers. One is on the motorcycle (obvious) and the other is on a go-cart (obvious). What you don't see is what the youngest brother's feet look like. You see, the eight year old on the go-cart had this lifelong dream. That dream was to drive the go-cart- all by himself. His dream became a reality this past weekend. It's not that we didn't think he could do it. It's the fact that this particular eight year old is completely fearless. Whenever he mentioned driving the go-cart by himself, we pictured, blood, guts, and whatever else he could get scattered all over the field. You know, sirens in the background and buzzards circling above. Seriously- this kid is fearless and has a very similar track record to what I mentioned before- (don't even ask about the gravel driveway and the bicycle with no brakes.)

I swallowed hard on his first solo ride. Thankfully, he was perfectly content to "chase" his big brother around and around in circles in the field. That was ok for me. Unfortunately, big brother got bored with going in circles and soon drove out of sight- down the driveway. The driveway leading to a huge mud hole. See where the feet issue, I mentioned before, is coming from?

There you have it. Fearless eight year old, a go-cart, and a mud hole.
Just wanted to share with you. Thankfully, this was the only disaster my fearless eight year old encountered that day.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Quick Compost Update

Pay no attention to this post if compost is boring or grosses you out........

As I've said before, I'm using my blog to document some of my "experiments". This is what the compost pile looked like after not being stirred for two weeks. I know, I need to mix it around more often than that but this is the best I could do this time. The briars had practically covered it up and if you didn't know it was there, you could just walk on by oblivious to it in the first place.

Here it is when I left. I mixed, and mixed and mixed and mixed- you get the idea. There are some shavings, leaves, BRIARS, and an entire 5 gallon bucket of vegetable scraps from my kitchen mixed in there now. At the rate I'm going, this pile should be in pretty good shape by next spring.....

Friday, June 12, 2009

Go to Friday Fill Ins to "fill in" your own!

1. I grew up thinking that one great day, I would return to Disney World.

2. was the last website I was at before coming here.

3. Why don't you leave the "world" outside the front door before you come into my house?

4. Talking to my mama helps me relax.

5. Thanks for the chocolate- I really needed it.

6. Gooey soap in the soap dish very off-putting.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to grocery shopping (seriously, this time, I am- I can get out by myself), tomorrow my plans include babysitting and Sunday, I want to have some "me" time (whatever that is, it's been so long, I kind of forgot what it was)!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Newest Member of Minnie Mae's Bear Family

This is George

George is the newest member of Minnie Mae's baby safe teddy bear family. He was born out of the inspiration that I received from both of the Etsy teams that I'm in. The SHE team (schooling at home etsians) and TeamSC (The South Carolina Etsy Street Team) are both, currently having creative challenges. I lucked up and figured that George here would qualify for both themes. The SHE team's theme is "Patriotic" and TeamSC's theme is "Americana". (Woo hoo, I just killed two birds with one stone, so to speak). (I really wouldn't kill birds with rocks...)

I don't make bears very often, partly because they take awhile and all finishing seams are hand stitched, and partly because I don't have anywhere to store these guys when they are completed. I don't like to "mash" (can you tell I'm southern?) them into the tub that I keep all of my other shop goodies in, so I have to limit myself because of the lack of room.

I didn't realize that my bears are kinda' big until a friend bought some and mentioned that I needed a photo showing how big these guys really are. (George here, is a medium sized bear- believe it or not!). My little model in the photo was happy to oblige with her photo shoot showing how big Mr. bear was. Thank you little model....

If you haven't caught on yet, George is named after George Washington. I'm sure though, that George the bear wouldn't mind it if someone bought him and changed his name. (As long as it was still a patriotic name......)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Deer Niblets and Ant Munchies

Here is what the garden looked like when we saw it last Saturday. Not too bad- you can tell where some rows are (that needed to be weeded, by the way). There are orange flags all over the place marking all of the different kinds of seeds we have planted. Do you see it? The warning sign that there is a "critter" rummaging through the garden when we aren't around? Look down near the bottom of the picture. There is practically a "highway" crossing through the lettuce patch. Also notice the two darker horizontal rows- those are the rows with the missing carrots. Not a one was to be seen. I replanted- we'll be putting up a fence around the lettuce/cabbage/carrot patch next time for sure.

This is what used to be pinto beans. Now, they are called Deer Niblets. Now you know what that "highway" was caused by in the previous picture. Now I know that deer like carrots and pinto beans- mental note is made.

See this poor potato plant? Here is some more documented proof of the fire ant issue that I talk about- way too much. They are actually sucking the juice out of the poor stems. One plant has already been devoured -leaves- stems, and all. I even dug around in the lone mound of dirt and not a root was to be found. That happened in less than a week people- these little critters are pure evil I tell ya'!

These are my current garden disasters. I didn't show any good points did I? I guess I just have to tell you about them. The green beans, peas, peanuts, pinto beans (what the deer didn't eat), blue corn, cucumbers, squash, lettuce, and cabbage are all doing quite well. We'll had a lot of rain and there is a huge wet spot in the middle of the garden that never dries up but over all, I think things are progressing well.

By the end of the day at the garden, we had the following planted: sunflowers, leeks, okra, bell peppers, chili peppers, tomatoes, cantelopes, watermelon, two types of winter squash, brussel sprouts, and parsley. In the next two weeks or so, we are going to plant our late corn. We will also be planting some more cucumbers and more carrots (to stagger the harvest). When the corn is about knee high, we will be planting squash and yellow wax beans under each stalk. This is what Native Americans refer to as; three sister planting. The beans climb up the corn and the corn shades the squash- win, win situation. The best part is that no staking is required- yeah!

I'll keep you updated from time to time and let you know how things are going out on the farm. After all, I have round three of my tomato plants growing in the cold frame in the backyard. If all goes well this time, there will be 32 tomato plants out in that garden in a week or two. Need any tomatoes?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Seedling Update

A lot of gardening talk going on lately huh?

I'll eventually get crafty so hang in there, OK?

These are those seedlings that I planted way back when I started the great egg shell experiment.

Here they are in all of their splendor. I actually manged to "not" kill them (I didn't use chicken manure on them- thank goodness!) and they got put into the ground. Yeah, the cucumbers and squash are in their permanent home!

Not much to see yet but after all of the wonderful rain that we have gotten since the day these rows were planted, I would expect to see some "green" peeking out of those rows soon.

We planted bush green beans, pinto beans, peanuts, green peas, corn, carrots, lettuce, and cabbage. My brother managed to get some different types of melons in the ground that day as well.

I've got the gardening "itch" and I'm fighting myself from purchasing more seeds. I guess we'll just have to see if I can refrain from buying more........